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Travel Experts has reported that member advisors have seen an increase in bookings in the first month of the new year, but new COVID protocols are now having an adverse impact on plans and more clients are holding back to wait and see how new regulations are applied.

“The rush to book for 2021 does not seem to be as strong yet, except for future cruises and rollovers of previously cancelled vacations,” noted Sharon Fake, director of operations for Travel Experts, in a press release statement.

A recent poll of the member advisors showed that domestic vacations continued to top the list of client plans. Europe trips were second, followed by Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii. Bookings by clients have been evenly distributed for travel over the next six months through 2022.

A number of advisors also reported that the lion’s share of bookings are actually rebooks of cancelled plans from 2020 and may stretch as far out as 2023.

Feedback from Travel Experts member advisors provides insight into current booking trends.

“We have some clients who are itching to travel,” said Becky Lukovic, Bella Travel Planning, Alpharetta, GA. “They are making cautious, refundable reservations with the hopes it will all work out. In some instances we have a getaway planned with a backup itinerary also planned in case the rules change significantly.”

“Many of my clients are either planning well in advance; for the end of 2021 and into 2022, or actually booking last minute, sometimes as little as a week out, to the destinations that are within the U.S., Mexico, and Caribbean,” said Mallory Shaw, Trouvaille Yacht & Travel, Nashville, TN.

“I’ve noticed that many of my colleagues have planned first quarter trips for their clients and now have to cancel them because of the new rules for international travel that includes not only the pre- and post-negative tests but also a quarantine upon returning,” said Elaine Carey, Travel Expert member in the Pines, Whispering Pines, NC. “This will bring travel down for a long period of time once again as a week’s vacation could turn into a horrid 3-5 weeks.”

Travel Experts
Claire Canady, Manager North Carolina Operations for Travel Experts

“We are successful if our advisors are successful,” said Claire Canady, Manager, North Carolina Operations for Travel Experts. “We look at our Independents as our clients not our employees and our job is to make them successful,” she added.

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